Intermittent Horn, Lights, Dashboard, Won't Turn Over, and Other TIPM Issues
Many people report situations where their vehicle "goes nuts" with headlights, fans, horn, gauges, wipers, door locks, or other items turn on/off on their own. We have several proven solutions listed below to fix intermittent problems based on our own research and feedback from others. Certain relay-driven items (horn, door locks, wipers, fuel pump, etc) that fail to work all the time may be able to be repaired. If you are able to fix your problem, please contact us and share your solution so we can share with others. The following suggestions are the result of thousands of phone calls and emails since 2014:
- BEST SOLUTION: Locate car battery and check to ensure the + and - connectors are securely crimped to the cables that feed it. Solder and/or recrimp as needed. This solution verified on a 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan with intermittent wipers, radio, etc.
- Open TIPM lid
- Check all mini blade and cartridge fuses to make sure none are blown
- Swap all similar grey relays with the same part numbers. These grey relays are removable and located next to your fuses. Move A to B, B to C, C to D, and D to A. Orientation isn't critical on rectangular relays, so you can rotate the relay 180 degrees if needed. If you notice a new problem and/or the old problem is fixed, you may have a relay issue. Replace affected relay. Or you can test each relay with a 9V battery and multimeter.
- Reseat all connectors on the bottom of the TIPM. This will take up to 30 minutes. You may have a bad connection between pins.
- MANY people have reported success with tightening of all ground connections and cleaning the pins on the electrical connectors under the TIPM. Tighten all bolts/screws that contain a wire leading directly into the chassis (frame) of the vehicle. These connections are often located near the TIPM. Ground connections can become rusted, corroded, or loose. Many electrical functions in the TIPM turn on/off by switching ground connections.
- Remove the (+) battery connection on upper left of TIPM or the (-) battery connection on vehicle battery. Reinstall connection. This resets the TIPM. Then turn vehicle on and go to RUN position, but don't start. Wait 12 secs, then turn off, then start normally.
- Replace TIPM to see if the problem persists. We can recommend used TIPMs for sale starting at $350 with a one year warranty.
- You may have a faulty Front Control Module (FCM) or Body Control Module (BCM). The BCM is an electronic control unit responsible for monitoring and controlling various electronic accessories in a vehicle's body. Typically in a car the BCM controls the power windows, power mirrors, air conditioning, immobilizer system, central locking, etc. The FCM is a micro controller based module that mates to the power distribution center to form the Integrated Power Module (IPM). The FCM controls power to some vehicle systems electrical and electromechanical loads based on inputs received from hard wired switch inputs and data received on the CAN bus circuit.
How To Perform a TIPM Hard Reset
A hard reset is another non-destructive action that can reset the TIPM and clear codes and allow a used TIPM to work in a vehicle. This action is easily performed by anyone who can turn a wrench. The idea behind a hard reset is that conductively linking the positive and negative battery terminals drains all electrical energy in the TIPM from all capacitors.
- Remove ignition key.
- Remove the negative cable from the battery.
- Remove the positive cable from the battery.
- Keeping cables completely clear of the battery, hold both the positive and negative cables together for 10 minutes. There will be initial sparking as power is drained from the system. Again, please make sure these two cables never touch your battery.
- After 10 minutes, discontinue holding the positive and negative cables together. Reconnect the positive cable to the battery positive (+) post, followed by the negative cable to the battery negative (-) post.
- Attempt to start the vehicle and confirm it is working properly. If not, proceed to the next step.
- Disconnect the ground cable from battery (-) post and touch this cable to the battery positive (+) post. The positive battery cable should be connected to the battery at this time. Hold this connection for 10 seconds, then reconnect your negative cable to the battery negative (-) post.
- 90% of all used TIPMs will not need reprogrammed if the above steps are performed properly.
- If a TIPM hard reset fails, confirm that you have the correct TIPM part number and all electrical connections are correct. Consult your local dealer to have the TIPM programmed per your VIN.
SOLVED - Lights, dashboard, and windshield wipers going crazy on a 2008 Chrysler Town & Country Touring Van
A customer reported in September 2016 that buying a new TIPM did not solve his problem, and the dealer eventually found corrosion on the pigtail wiring on the driver side sliding door. Cost was $209 for the part and $180 in labor. The customer wanted me to tell everyone to check all wiring for corrosion before taking a van to have the TIPM replaced. The dealer identified the problem part as FP number: 68043333-AB with description: Wiring SL 0801502. See photos below.
Starter Won't Engage
PROBLEM - If you try to start your car, but it intermittently won't even try to power the starter and turn the flywheel, you may have loose/corroded +12VDC power cable or shifter cable. The shifter cable connects your shift lever to the transmission.
POSSIBLE SOLUTION - Check to make sure the +12VDC power cable is properly connected to the starter and no corrosion is present (some people have reported this is the cause). If the shifter cable, note that it sometimes stretches or becomes loose and sensors think the vehicle is not in park. On some Dodge Caravans, you simply need to remove the battery and battery box under the hood to access this cable and adjust it accordingly. Additionally, faulty starters are known to cause issues where turning the key to start the vehicle results in nothing but a clicking sound from the starter.
Sliding Door on Dodge Caravan Operates Randomly
PROBLEM - The sliding door opens and closes randomly, whether the key is in the vehicle or not.
POSSIBLE SOLUTION - Your keyfob may have an issue where the conductive portion of the button has become detached and fallen onto the circuit board, which triggers the door at random times. Easy fix.
Starter Stops After 2 Seconds
PROBLEM - My issue has only been with starting the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan...it "tics" as if battery is dead randomly, but eventually starts. I do NOT hear the fuel pump continue to run after vehicle is off. Could this still be the fuel pump relay? If so...could a novice use your bypass cable in order to make sure before contacting you for permanent repair? I was quoted $1100 for replacement of my TIPM, and am not a happy camper that this was not covered under my pricey warranty.
POSSIBLE SOLUTION - Whatever you do, don't spend $1100 on a new TIPM. You can buy used TIPMs for much less. To address your issue, a ticking battery usually indicates low voltage being supplied to the starter. Corroded or inadequately tightened battery terminals can cause the vehicle to not start in certain situations. The connection may provide just enough current to permit accessory power, but no starting. I would clean your battery terminals. You could also have a bad/corroded ground connection that is causing intermittent issues with your TIPM. As for the problem being a fuel pump relay, it's possible. Bad fuel pump relays won't cause any tics, but will instead make the vehicle act like it's out of gas. Of course, a "stuck on" fuel pump relay will drain your battery - causing some of the initial issues you describe with tics. If I were you, I would look into my ground connections to the chassis and check for corroded wiring. If you do buy a bypass cable, it's worth noting that any novice can use it. We include simple directions with photos of how to connect it.
Air Conditioning (AC) Not Working